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Brenda Sue-Tolian: Paint Through It

I was diagnosed with Parkinson's and related dementia in 2009. My beloved grandfather passed away from Parkinson’s complications, so it is a well-known disease to my family. I just turned 40 and am a single mother of twin teenagers.

Parkinson's at first stole so much. My downward spiral with mobility, memory and simply mourning my loss of the self I was used to, was at times so overwhelming. It’s so hard living with a mind and body that betrays.

I have since been on a road of recovery and self-discovery. I changed my attitude, my diet. I went from always using a cane and leg brace to hiking and dancing. I have become an artist – I paint, write and play music. That is the big change.

After diagnosis I let Parkinson's become me – my health and life suffered. I finally decided to fight back and take life back. It’s amazing what that decision can do for those of us who suffer with this disease. I don't sit in pain. I paint through it or walk through it. I fight and challenge it every minute of every day.

I hope for a cure for all of us, but until then I encourage everyone to live their best life!

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